Aug. 26 p.m. update: Dixie on the East and West zone today

By Michael Condon

Special to Plumas News

Fire-fighters made good progress in some critical areas today.

The fire that has been backing down Mt Jura for the past few days has burned down to the road with the help of firefighters doing some strategic firing over night.  The fire is holding on the road. Mop up has begun and so far no spots have been reported.  This is very good news for the residents of Taylorsville.

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Structure protection and mop up continue in the Genesee Valley as well as further east in Janesville and Milford where the threat from fire has been significantly reduced. Mop up will continue in the Peter’s Creek area, as will structure protection in Wards Creek and Grizzly Creek.

The Grizzly spot fire continues to challenge firefighters. There was a slop-over on the western edge near the top of the ridge today. The Feather River Hotshots tried to hold it, but were forced to retreat due to the intense fire behavior. Aircraft dropped water and retardant in an effort to cool the fire and limit the spread.

The evacuation warning issued for Chandler Road and the east side of Highway 70 was not based on any specific movement of the fire today, but more as a recognition that the fire is likely to be active, producing significant runs and spot fires over the next few days according to fire officials.

Firefighters are hopeful that the primary fire-line along the top of  Grizzly Ridge will prevent spread to the west side of the ridge. They have prepared a network of secondary and contingency lines between Grizzly Ridge and Highway 70 to provide additional protection. Work will continue on additional contingency lines to protect Lake Davis and other communities directly south of Quincy.

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West Zone

In the West Zone firefighters were kept busy to the north of Lassen Park completing line around a large slop-over that burned last night on the north edge of the fire.  Crews made good progress today and are feeling good about being close to having the north edge of the fire secured.  They will be helped in that effort by some light north winds in the weather forecast.

The burn near the communities of Mineral and Mill Creek remains quiet and with mop up and patrol continuing. The primary fire line protecting these communities has held, and there are secondary and contingency lines in place.  Threat from the fire is minimal.    The fire was more active just east of the Highway 36 and 32 intersection but control lines were not threatened.  Crews are working to strengthen control lines in that area in anticipation of those lines being tested by north east winds over the next couple of days.

Crews continue to patrol the Almanor Basin to assure the safety of those communities.  They are finding some residual smokes well inside the burn with nothing threatening the fire-lines.  Re-population  of the communities around Almanor continues although the very poor air quality is still keeping many residents away.

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The weather forecast calls for north east winds beginning later tonight.  Wind speeds will be generally light but gusts to 15 miles per hour are possible. Those winds may continue from the north east during the day but they may be so light that they are over-ridden by terrain driven up-slope winds that normally occur as the day warms up.  These winds will be a big help to crews working the north edge of the fire but may challenge others, particularly along Grizzly ridge.  Relative humidity will stay very low adding to the already historically dry fuels.  While the forecast is generally favorable, to put it

in perspective, 15 mph winds in historically dry fuels can produce extreme fire behavior especially if steep terrain is involved.

The Dixie Fire has grown to 749,713 acres and remains 45% contained with 4,833 personnel assigned to the fire.